After the rain…

May 28, 2010

So, the rain has complicated things rather at Roland Garros. Thankfully, many matches made it to court today and things seem to be largely back on track. Andy Murray managed to avoid the rain in this round, unlike in his previous match against Chela, and beat Baghdatis relatively convincingly in two hours 33 minutes. I say ‘relatively’ convincingly because there was an awful third set that I imagine Murray will want to scrub from his memory, when he succumbed to Marcus Baghdatis 0-6. But with that behind him, he went on to win 6-2 6-3 0-6 6-2, so not a bad pick-up from quite a horrendous blip.

Novak Djokovic had a relatively easy day, beating Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-4 6-4 in a comfortable match. He plays Victor Hanescu next. Roger Federer is preparing for round 4 with a definitely Federer-esque win against German Julian Reister 6-4 6-0 6-4. It was all business as usual apart from a rather unFederer-esque double fault on match point. I think that may be one of the signs of the apocalypse…

Federer Gonzalez and Gael Monfils were the biggest casualties of recent play. Gonzalez (seeded 12th) was sent packing by Oleskandr Dolgopolov Jr, beaten 6-3 6-4 6-3. Well at least the tournament will be more of a challenge to commentators having to get used to saying the name ‘Dolgopolov’ at high speed. Gael Monfils, always a home favourite in Paris,  was beaten by Fabio Fognini is a tense and dramatic match yesterday. The match was stopped short on Wednesday evening due to poor light, a decision neither player looked happy with; Fognini was even docked a time penalty point. With the score tied at 5-5, it’s no wonder. But Fognini came back on Thursday with nerves of steel, and managed to clinch the winner 2-6 4-6 7-5 6-4 9-7.

Andy Roddick had a battle to get through against Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia, with his serve all over the place on the damp clay. Like many US players, clay is not Roddick’s best surface. To give Roddick his dues he is still in the current competition, and came so close to winning on his other unfriendly surface – grass – last year.

Rafael Nadal is powering on, with barely enough time in each match to so much as glance at the player at the other end of the court. His latest win, a straight sets victory over Horacio Zeballos, was earlier blighted by the rain but was today bathed in the gorgeous French sunshine. More importantly, the sun shone in Rafa’s favour – barring a few hiccups – and he is up against Lleyton Hewitt next. Despite the scoreline, Nadal wasn’t being any more complimentary about his own game, admitting he had played ‘better’ than his opening win, but it didn’t seem to be good enough for him. He will definitely be tightening the bolts and polishing those edges for Hewitt in the next round.

Jo Wilfried-Tsonga pleased the French crowd with a 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-4 win against de Bakker, and Tomas Berdych trampled the big American John Isner 6-2 6-2 6-1; another American that feels out of his depth on the clay. Berdych will play Andy Murray next, a tough match up for both men.

The Williams household will have celebrated today with a win for both Venus and Serena; Venus beat Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets, and Serena chalked up a 6-1 6-1 defeat of Julia Goerges earlier on in the morning. Maria Sharapova had a convincing win to get her into round three, and will now play Justine Henin. A tough draw for Sharapova, who has been clawing her way back into the game ever since returning from a prolonged shoulder injury. Caroline Wozniacki had a 6-3 6-4 win over Dulgheru and seems to be doing well despite her ankle injury scare just before the French Open began. Elena Dementieva made it through her test against Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-7 6-3 6-4, and will play Chanelle Scheepers in the next round.

I still cannot quite say who will make it all the way in both sides of the tournament. Henin is my strongest favourite in the women’s draw (although who knows with the women’s game so easy to upheave with a single match0, but it’s that pesky decision over Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer that plagues my day-to-day musings. Which one of them will come out victorious over the other this time around? That is, of course, provided that both get to the finals, and I’m sure we can all guarantee there will be plenty of other players who wish to have a say in that. Can anyone predict who could ‘pull a Soderling’ this year?

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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